Bilateral Relations

European Union European Union

Armenia-EU Partnership

Development of the partnership with the European Union is one of the most important directions of the foreign policy of the Republic of Armenia.

Since the independence of the Republic of Armenia, the cooperation with the EU has greatly contributed to carrying out reforms in the fields of economy, justice and public administration, building up democratic society and consolidating institutions dealing with the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

On 5 August 2014, Ambassador Tatoul Markarian was appointed Head of the Mission of the Republic of Armenia to the EU. On 17 September 2019, Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin was appointed Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia.

Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA)

On 7 December 2015, official negotiations on the Armenia-EU CEPA were launched in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. Negotiations lasted 1 year and 2 months and encompassed 9 rounds.

On 27 February 2017, in Brussels, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and President of the European Council Donald Tusk declared the completion of negotiations; the sides initialed the CEPA on 21 March 2017, in Yerevan.

The Agreement was signed on 24 November 2017, in the framework of the 5th Eastern Partnership Summit, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Edward Nalbandyan and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, in the presence of the President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.

On 16 May 2018, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament adopted the draft resolution supporting the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement and the draft resolution on Armenia-EU relations attached to it.

On 1 June 2018, pursuant to Article 385 of the CEPA, the provisional application of those provisions of the Agreement, which are under the jurisdiction of the EU, entered into force. According to this Article, the Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date of deposit of the last instrument of ratification or approval. Provisionally applied articles comprise 80% of the Agreement: the remaining 20% are those provisions which are under the jurisdiction of the EU Member States and will enter into force after the ratification of the Agreement by all the EU Member States.

On 2 July 2018, the Interagency Commission, tasked with the coordination of the CEPA and Partnership Priorities implementation was re-established by the Decision 906-A of the Prime Minister of Armenia. After being agreed upon with the European Commission and the EEAS, the draft CEPA Implementation Roadmap was discussed between the Government and the civil society in Arpril-May 2019. On 1 June 2019, the CEPA Implementation Roadmap was approved by the Decision 666-L of the Prime Minister of Armenia. On 13 June 2019, the second meeting of the Armenia-EU Partnership Council welcomed the Roadmap.

Partnership Council

On 13 June 2019, the second meeting of the Armenia-EU Partnership Council, the highest institutional body, envisaged by the CEPA, took place in Brussels. The Armenian delegation was headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan; the EU delegation was led by the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. They summarized the results of the Meeting with a joint press conference and a joint press statement, touching upon a number of imporant topics on the Armenia-EU partnership agenda, as well as of international importance.

Partnership Committee (in General, and Trade Configurations)

On 16 December 2019, the second meeting of the Armenia-EU Partnership Committee in General Configuration took place in Brussels, co-chaired by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Avet Adonts and the Deputy Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia of the European External Action Service, Luc Devigne. During the Meeting, a number of issues were discussed, including the implementation of the CEPA Roadmap, sectorial cooperation, the prospects of launching the Armenia-EU Visa Liberalisation Dialogue (VLD), the post-2020 agenda of the EaP, as well as international and regional issues.

On 17 October 2019, the second meeting of the Armenia-EU Partnership Council in Trade Configuration took place in Brussels, co-chaired by the Deputy Minister of Economy of Armenia, Varos Simonyan and the Head of the European Commission Directorate-General for Trade, Petros Surmelis. During the Meeting, the Roadmap for the implementation of the Part 6 (Trade and Trade-related issues) of the CEPA was discussed.

Partnership Subcommittees

On 12 March 2019,  the first meeting of the Armenia-EU Sub-Committee on Economic Cooperation and Other Related Sectors took place in Yerevan.

On 9 April 2019, the  10th meeting of the Armenia-EU Sub-Committee on Justice, Freedom and Security took place in Brussels.  

On 26 September 2019, the 5th meeting of the Armenia-EU Sub-Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, Public Health, Training, Education and Youth, Culture, Information Society, Audio-visual, Science and Technology ("People-to-People contacts") was held in Yerevan.

On 16 October 2019, the first meeting of the Armenia-EU Sub-committee on the Geographical Indications took place in Brussels.

High-level Bilateral Visits /2016-2020/

From Armenia

March 2020

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

June 2019

Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan

March 2019

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

July 2018

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

June 2018

Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan

February 2018

Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandyan

May 2017

Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandyan

February 2017

President Serzh Sargsyan

June 2016

Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandyan

 

From the European Union (2015-2020)

February 2020

EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar

October 2019

EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar

July 2019

President of the European Council Donald Tusk

June 2019

EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar

March 2019

European Commissioner for Digital Single Market and Vice President of the European Commission Andrus Ansip

February 2019

EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar

February 2019

EU ambassadors/special envoys for the EaP

January 2019

European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn

June 2018

Delegation of the European Parliament

May 2018

EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar

February 2018

EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar

December 2017

EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar

October 2017

European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn

October 2017

Political and Security Committee of the Council of the EU

February 2017

Director General for Neighbourhood and

Enlargement Negotiations Christian Danielsson

March 2016

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini

July 2015

President of the European Council Donald Tusk

March 2015

European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn

 

Mobility

On 27 October 2011, in Luxemburg, Armenia, the EU and 10 EU Member States signed “A Joint Declaration on Mobility Partnership”, which envisages a number of programs on migration management, labour migration, professional trainings and on many other sectors.

The first Armenia-EU High Level Meeting on the Mobility Partnership was held in December 2015, and the second one on 23 January 2018, in Brussels. As a result of the discussions, the Parties stressed the progress made towards the implementation of the Mobility Partnership Joint Declaration and agreed to streamline the actions,future initiatives and programs of the line institutions and organisations.

In 2015, the “Support for Migration and Border Management in Armenia” (MIBMA) project was launched, which is implemented by the Armenian office of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
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With the aim of enhancing sectoral cooperation with the EU, in December 2012, a Protocol on the general principles of the participation of Armenia to the EU programs was signed, which entered into force on 1 March 2014. The Protocol allows Armenia to participate in a number of EU programmes and agencies in areas, such as education, health, culture, etc.

On 7 December 2015, in Brussels, Agreement on the Participation of Armenia to the Program Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) (2014-2020) was signed, which entered into force in early 2016.

On 19 May 2016, in Brussels, the Minister of Education and Science of Armenia, Levon Mkrtchyan and the EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas signed the Agreement on the Association of Armenia to the EU framework Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020”.

On 1 December 2016, the European Commission was granted a mandate to launch negotiations on Common Aviation Zone with Armenia. The negotiations were launched in March 2017, and the Agreement was initialed at the 5th Eastern Partnership Summit on 24 November 2017.

On 15 December 2016, the Government of Armenia adopted a decision on launching negotiations on the accession of Armenia to the “Culture” component of the Creative Europe Program. During 2017, the Parties negotiated the text of the Agreement, which was signed as a Memorandum of Understanding on 21 March 2018, in Brussels, by the Minister of Culture of Armenia, Armen Amiryan and the EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics.

On 24 November 2017, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian and the EU HR/VP, Federica Mogherini signed the Protocol on High-level Mutual Understanding on extending the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) to the Republic of Armenia.

Visa Facilitation

On 17 December 2012, the Agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the European Union on the Facilitation of the Issuance of Visas was signed, and on 19 April 2013, the Agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the European Union on the Readmission of Persons Residing without Authorization was signed. Both entered into force on 1 January 2014.

The Agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the European Union on the Facilitation of the Issuance of Visas envisages a simplified procedure for entering the Schengen Area countries for a number of categories of Armenian citizens. By the Decision of the Government of Armenia, since January 2013, a visa-free regime was introduced for the citizens of the EU Member States, as well as of the countries implementing the provisions of the Schengen Agreement. The Armenia-EU Visa Facilitation Committee and the Armenia-EU Readmission Committee were established to monitor the implementation of the respective Agreements. The 5th annual meetings of the Joint Committees on Readmission, and on Visa Facilitation were held in Yerevan, respectively on 2 April 2019, and on 13 September 2019.

Partneship in the Field of Human Rights Protection

Since 2009, Armenia and the EU have been holding annual Human Rights Dialogue (HRD) meetings. The meetings are held once a year, consecutively in Yerevan and in Brussels.  

The inclusive agenda of the HRD comprises a broad range of human rights related issues, such as national framework for the protection of human rights, judicial reforms, freedom of expression and information, freedom of assembly,  and civil society activities.

On 8 April 2019, the 10th regular meeting of the Armenia-EU Human Rights Dilogue took place in Brussels. The Armenian delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Avet Adonts; the EU delegation was led by Head of the Division of Bilateral Relations with the EaP Countries of the EEAS Richard Tibbels. Armenia and the EU discussed, among other issues, topics related to the freedom of assembly and expression, electoral reforms, gender equality, anti-discrimination, justice sector, criminal institutions, and labor rights.  

European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)

In March 2015, the European Commission published the ENP Review proposal to make the cooperation with the partner countries more effective. Questions on the future of the ENP were divided into 5 directions: differentiation, targeted cooperation, flexibility, mutual ownership, and visibility. On 18 November 2015, the European Parliament approved the Revised ENP, and on 14 December 2015, the European Council adopted it. Armenia welcomed the idea of being guided by the principles of differentiation and “more for more” in the framework of the Revised ENP.

After revising the ENP and, in particular, after securing the principle of differentiation, the EU adopted new approaches for constructing relations with its partners. In October 2016, the joint delegation of the European External Action Service and the European Commission visited Yerevan and presented to the Armenian side the draft of the “Partnership Priorities” document. The negotiations lasted for a couple of rounds, after which, on 20 November 2017, the document was approved and on 21 February 2018, was signed in Brussels by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandian and the EU HR/VP Federica Mogherini. Together with the CEPA, the “Partnership Priorities” became the main guidelines for the Armenia-EU bilateral cooperation.

In parallel with the “Partnership Priorities” document, the “Single Support Framework” document for Armenia for 2017-2020 was also discussed; it includes approximately 20 sectoral directions. This document was approved by the EU in November 2017.

Eastern Partnership (EaP)

The EaP was established in 2009 as a special dimension of the ENP, in addition to the Nortnern dimension and the Union for Mediterranean. Geographically it includes Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Azerbaijan.

On 24 November 2017, the 5th EaP Summit took place in Brussels. After the revision of the ENP, the Summit became an impotant platform for reflecting on the EaP on the highest level by means of discussions, representing its achievements and giving a new impetus to the cooperation.

The “20 Deliverables for 2020” document was presented to the participants of the Summit. It consists of actions aiming to achieve concrete deliverables and tangible results.

By results of the Summit, the Heads of State adopted a Joint Declaration, which, among others, welcomed the signing of the Armenia-EU CEPA.

The multilateral cooperation within the Eastern Partnership is mainly supported through 4 platforms and 12 panels. The new architecture of the EaP was endorsed during the Brussels Summit, according to which, taking into consideration the new priorities, the structure of the platforms and panels was changed.

1. Strengthening institutions and good governance 

  • Governance and Public Administration
  • Rule of Law
  • Security, CSDP and Civil Protection

 2. Economic Development and Market Opportunities 

  • Structural Reforms, Financial Sector Architecture and SMEs
  • Trade
  • Harmonisation of Digital Markets

 3. Connectivity, Energy Efficiency, Environment and Climate Change

  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Environment and Climate Change

 4. Mobility and People to People Contacts 

  • Education, Culture and Youth
  • Research and Innovation
  • Migration, Moblity and Integrated Border Management

Meetings of the EaP platforms and panels are taking place twice a year, with the participation of the relevant officials and experts.

Foreign Affairs and Sectoral Ministerials, as well as Informal Meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs (which take place once a year, consecutively in one of the partner countries’ capitals) are also part of the multilateral cooperation format. Twice a year Senior Officials’ Meetings are held at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers as well as EU Member States’ and EaP countries’ ambassadors accredited to the EU.

Armenia is actively engaged in different meetings and events in the framework of the EaP.

EaP Summits

November 2017, Brussels

President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan

May 2015, Riga

President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan

November 2013, Vilnius

President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan

September 2011, Warsaw

President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan

May 2009, Prague

President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan

 Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs

May 2019, Brussels

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan

Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs

May 2019, Bratislava

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan

Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of V4 and EaP

October 2018, Luxembourg

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan

Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs

June 2018, Minsk

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan

Informal meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs

July 2017, Chishnau

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandyan

Informal meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs

June 2017, Luxembourg

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandyan,
Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs

April 2017, Warsaw

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandyan

Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of V4 and EaP

10th anniversary of the EaP

In 2019, the EaP celebrated its 10th anniversary. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the EaP, Armenia hosted a conference, entitled “Living Smart-Empowering Youth”, dedicated to education, innovation and youth empowerment. President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian was the key-note speaker at the Conference.

During the High-level conference dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the EaP President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Junker launched the structured consultation process on the future of EaP. The consultations were aimed at reflecting on the future strategic direction of the Eastern Partnership and developing a new – post 2020  generation of deliverables. 

During 2019, a number of high-level events took place dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the EaP, with the participation of Armenian high-level officials. On 8 February 2019, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan participated in the 6th Annual Tallinn Conference on the EaP as a guest speaker. On 6 May 2019, the Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the V4 and the EaP countries took place. On 13 May 2019, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan took part in the Official Dinner on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the EaP in Brussels and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan participated in the EaP Foreign Ministers Meeting. On 14 May 2019, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan participated in the High-level Conference on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the EaP and in the thematic event organized by the EaP Civil Society Forum. On 11 July 2019, Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan participated in the 16th International Batumi Conference dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the EaP and to the reflection of the achievments of the last decade. On 4-6 November 2019, in Stockholm Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia participated in a series of events dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the EaP.

Parliamentary partnership

The main bilateral format for the Armenia-EU parliamentary cooperation is the Parliamentary Partnership Committee. This Committee consists of Members of the National Assembly of Armenia and the European Parliament. It gives an opportunity to both sides to discuss issues of mutual interest and to come up with proposals. The annual meetings of the Committee take place subsequently in Yerevan and Brussels or Strasbourg. The first meeting of the Armenia-EU Parliamentary Partnership Committee took place on 24 October 2018 in Strasbourg. At the end of the Committee meetings final statements are adopted. At present the Armenia-EU Parliamentary Partnership Committee is co-chaired on behalf of the Armenian National Assembly by Arman Eghoyan, Head of the European Integration Committee and by Marina Kaljurand from the Social-Democrats Alliance on behalf of the European Parliament.

The parliamentary cooperation platform between the EU and EaP is the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly. Its first meeting took place on 3 May 2011 in Brussels. On 17-18 March 2015, the 4th plenary meeting of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly took place in Yerevan. The 8th plenary meeting took place in December 2019 in Georgia.

Currently the Euronest PA hosts 60 parliamentarians from the European Parliament, and 10 parliamentarians from each EaP country.

The Euronest Parliamentary Assembly has 2 co-chairs - one represents the European Parliament, the other one represents the legislative body one of the EaP countries. Current Co-Chairs are a Member of the European Parliament from the EPP from Lithuania, Andrius Kubilius and a Member of the of Ukrainian Parliament, Ivan Krulko.  

The Bureau is responsible for the general activities of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly. It consists of the 2 Co-Chairs and of equal number (currently 8) of Deputy Chairs of the Parliamentary Assembly from the European Parliament and the EaP countries’ legislative bodies.

The Euronest Parliamentary Assembly has 4 standing committees: 1. On Political Affairs, Human Rights and Democracy, 2. On Economic Integration, Legal Approximation and Convergence with EU Policies, 3. On Energy Security, 4. On Social Affairs, Employment, Education, Culture and Civil Society.

The Head of the Delegation of the 7th convocation of the Armenian National Assembly to the Euronest PA is Gayane Abrahamyan.

Trade relations

Since 1 January 2009, the Republic of Armenia has been benefitting from the EU's Special Incentive Arrangement for Sustainable Development and Good Governance (GSP+).

By the decision of the European Commission as of 1 January 2014, the Republic of Armenia was included in the list of beneficiaries of the GSP+ under the reformed EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP).

The GSP+ preferential trade scheme provides an opportunity to export around 6200 types of products of Armenian origin with zero or reduced tariffs.

Under the GSP+ preferential trade scheme exports to the EU Member States are conducted in a more simplified procedure.

Since 1 January 2018, in the framework of the “GSP+” regime Armenia has been applying the Registered Exporter system (the REX system) of certification of origin of goods based on a principle of self-certification.

Producers and exporters must register in the “REX” electronic system in order to export local products to the EU market. Registering in the “REX” system enables exporting to the EU market under the “GSP+” preferential trade regime without the Form A certificate of origin, instead submitting only statements on origin for each export.

The registration in the “REX” system is done by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia.

According to the data for 2018, the EU made up 24.8% of Armenis’s general trade turnover. The export to the EU market from Armenia made up 28.3% and the import rate made up 23.0%.

During 2017-2018 the main products exported from the Republic of Armenia to the EU are copper ores and concentrates, iron ore, aluminum foil, non-refined copper, textile products, diamonds, zinc ore, alcoholic beverages, molybdenum ore and concentrate and gold. The main imported products from the EU Member States to the Republic of Armenia are: pharmaceuticals, non-crude oil and petroleum products, prefabricated building constructions, laminated paper and cardboard,
tobacco making equipment, automobiles, diamonds, appliances (tableware, dishwasher or dryer, filling, closing, labeling, beverage carbonating), food or beverage, industrial preparation equipment, blood, antisera, vaccine, cultured bacteria.

Trade turnover

(mln US dollars)

 

Export

Import

2016

478,8

739,3

2017

633,76

903,8

2018

638,40

1155,3

2019 (January-November)

549,4

1010,6

 

References

Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement arm eng

“Armenia-EU Partnership Priorities” document

“20 deliverables for 2020” document

Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit (Brussels, 24 November 2017)

Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit (Riga, 21-22 May 2015)

Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership (Vilnius, 28-29 November 2013)

EU-Armenia Agreement on Visa Facilitation

EU-Armenia Agreement on Readmission of Persons residing without Authorisation

Additional trade data:

https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/isdb_results/factsheets/country/details_armenia_en.pdf 

EU websites:

http://europa.eu/

www.eeas.europa.eu/

www.consilium.europa.eu/

 

Updated on 08.05.2020

 

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